Keep America Beautiful at Kitsap County Fair, WA

Have you ever thought about what kind of recycling happens at a rodeo? KAB found out this past week at our third and final fair visit of the summer. KAB and Alcoa Foundation provided bins, boots on the ground, and technical expertise at state and county fairs as part of a Clinton Global Initiative commitment. This week in Washington State, the Kitsap County Fair included a rodeo, and we did not know going into the fair what this would mean for recycling. What did we learn? Rodeos are ripe with recyclables! Even though the adult beverage vendors were doubtful that customers would recycle, when we gave them bins and came back to them the next morning, the bins were filled with aluminum cans! We also provided bins in the bleachers, VIP cookout area, beer garden, and even behind the scenes where the cowboys, cattle wranglers, and barrel racers were camping and taking care of their animals.

As we walked around with labels for recycling bins, a man barbecuing with his family called out to “bring one of those over here!” He was eager to have a label for the recycling bin in his cookout area. Later in the fair, when our volunteers went to check on a bin by the cattle wrangler’s shed, a man wanted to know how they were doing with recycling. The bin was completely filled with recyclables, so we were happy to tell him that he and his friends were doing great! It was exciting to see that fairgoers had a very positive response to not only recycling, but a composting pilot as well! KAB is thrilled that people are passionate about reducing waste and recycling right. Did you find recycling at any outdoor events this summer?

Keep Australia Beautiful

Keep Australia Beautiful (another KAB!), has launched a Littering is Wrong Too campaign to coincide with Keep Australia Beautiful Week. The litter prevention campaign, created by Keep America Beautiful, intrinsically links littering with wrongdoing by asking people to ‘Write your Wrong’ and taking a lighthearted approach to get attention and be remembered. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to change perceptions of those who litter and the act of littering, to induce a long-term change in behavior and lead to cleaner communities. But first, the campaign needs to get your attention, and then get you talking and thinking about litter. Many people don’t regularly talk about the problem of litter, or even perceive it as a problem, and the Littering is Wrong Too campaign aims to change that. By comparing littering to other wrong (and ridiculous) behaviors like “networking at a funeral”, the campaign communicates just how wrong it is to litter.

People in Australia are being asked to enter their ‘wrong’ on the campaign website www.litteringiswrongtoo.org.au. The most original, quirkiest, humorous entry selected each week over five weeks will receive a cash prize and be featured in future Keep Australia Beautiful publicity campaigns.

Keep America Beautiful is excited to see the program adapted by our friends down under, and looks forward to hearing their wrongest wrongs!

Keep Akron Beautiful — Akron, OH

On Aug. 21, 2013 after months of planning, the Lowe’s Heroes from Fairlawn and Alliance, Ohio, banded together to carry out a park spruce-up project at two City of Akron parks: Davenport Park and Erie Island Park. In just a few hours many tasks were completed.

At Davenport Park, Lowe’s volunteers replaced lumber and stained all of the dilapidated benches by the park restroom and on the t-ball fields. Children were virtually unable to sit on these benches, so we completely refurbished them. Next, the Lowe’s Heroes volunteers stained all of the picnic tables, benches and bleachers in the entire park. They labored alongside City of Akron Arborist Bill Hahn and planted 10 trees. As if that wasn’t enough, they proceeded to spruce up all of the park signs! The Lowe’s team ripped out all of the old, dying plants, tilled and added more soil, and planted a beautiful array of flowers. The park sign spruce-up also included a new coat of brown and yellow paint to make the City of Akron park sign POP!

At the Erie Island Park ball fields, the Lowe’s Heroes spread gravel around the new picnic tables so that the area would be easy to walk through. They also created a new planting bed, roto-tilled, added new soil and planted alongside the Keep Akron Beautiful crew.

Six City of Akron parks received new trash and recycling receptacles, including Davenport Park and Erie Island Park/ball fields, where the projects took place. These receptacles will encourage recycling and were exclusively placed in parks that have youth sporting activities happening in the park. The six parks receiving these receptacles include: Copley Road Soccer Complex, Davenport Park, Erie Island Park/ball fields, Lane Field, Patterson Park and Prentiss Park. All of the sports teams that practice or play in these parks were given an education about what to deposit into the trash container and what to deposit in the recycling container. Keep Akron Beautiful is encouraging players, coaches and fans to make the right choice in depositing their waste and NOT littering in the parks! Educational materials were given out, and all of the recycling bins have a sticker affixed to them to remind citizens what is appropriate to throw in the bins. Each team was also given a supply of trash and recycling bags, so they are able to do a litter sweep after each practice or game.

Keep Akron Beautiful appreciates all of the assistance of the City of Akron Parks Department, as well as the Fairlawn Lowe’s store. We are so proud to show off all of the good being done in our community! Thank you, Lowe’s for funding our $20,000 Community Improvement Grant and to the Fairlawn Lowe’s store for choosing us as your “Lowe’s Heroes” project. We are so proud of the work we have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish through our new recycling program.

Keep Columbus Beautiful, Columbus Junction, IA

With support from a Lowe’s Community Improvement Grant, Keep Columbus Beautiful was able to expand our quilt garden from one square to four. Each square has a sponsor –  a master gardener, a local business woman, Chin Youth Organization members (Chin refugees from Myanmar) and 2nd to 5th grade TAG students. These people take care of everything; they plant, weed and water. Wow! It looks great! Those are our community gardens on the left edge of the photo … also a huge success. More on that project later.

Keep Genesee County Beautiful – Flint, Michigan

The excitement is growing as we begin the countdown for a new baseball field via our KAB/Lowe’s Community Improvement grant. Two years ago, this park was nothing but waist high grass where no one could play. The Flint Northern Class of 1974 alumni decided to adopt the park that was in their neighborhood when they were children. The grass was mowed, the playground and basketball courts were painted and they started to hold community events and programs for children at this inner city park.

This year, this volunteer group became Park Tenders with Keep Genesee County Beautiful. Then we received additional funding through the Lowe’s grant and the plan moved forward. This grant will pay for a new baseball field (including bleachers, player benches, waste receptacles and bases), repair the backstop and basketball court and replace the fence at the park entrance. On Sept. 14, volunteers from Lowe’s and Park Tenders will work side by side to remove overgrown brush and invasive trees from the fence line, creating a “see-through” park, making it safer for everyone.

Keep Akron Beautiful, Akron, OH

Keep Akron Beautiful’s 10th anniversary Dreamscape Makeover was recently completed. The Akron Rotary Camp, located at Rex Lake, was transformed into a landscaping dream for everyone involved with the camp!

The gateway at the Akron Rotary Camp went from a grassy, dirt drainage ditch to a large flower bed planted with annuals and perennials, outlined by landscaping rocks to improve the water runoff issue at the camp. Topsoil and compost were donated and placed into the beds. After prepping the two large new planting beds, crews built a canoe rack with lumber donated by National Industrial Lumber Company. The canoe rack served a larger purpose of freeing up the picnic tables in the pavilion at the camp, which were housing the canoes when not in use. Now, the children can safely put the canoes away and launch the canoes from a new beach the crews added.

Numerous amounts of flowers, up lights, path lights, flood lights, timers, and a half moon shaped patio were added around the camp, along with a new and improved irrigation system. It took a lot of teamwork to accomplish the landscaping makeover and we are lucky to have such great partners to work with.

All proceeds from the sales of the 1,234 tickets will be used to fund the Keep Akron Beautiful Flowerscape Program, which plants and maintains 39 Flowerscape sites annually. To see more Dreamscape pictures, check out the album on Facebook here!

Keep America Beautiful and Keep Prince William Beautiful

Staff from the national Keep America Beautiful recycling office visited the Keep Prince William Beautiful, Va., landfill and recycling center. Two summer interns from KAB and the Keep Prince William Beautiful interns learned all about the highly engineered solid waste management facility and where their garbage goes. Prior to the tour we had a great networking event with some of the affiliate’s board members. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Keep Prince William Beautiful for a fun and informative tour and visit. Have you been to a landfill? If not, you should visit one. Seeing “the end of the line” for garbage is a great reminder to help recyclable materials become something new by placing them in the recycling bin instead of the trash.